One of the problems with working in a start-up is that your circle of colleagues is usually small. All right, perhaps it is somewhat negative to call it a “problem.” Let’s say, ahem, “challenge.” I mean, there you are, slugging away, trudging through an endless pile of paperwork, and you want/need/CRAVE a break.
Well, if you work in a large company, it’s relatively easy. Odds are high that someone else shares more than a few of your tasks and responsiblities. So you can wander on over to your coworker’s desk, ask if he or she has a “moment” (typically that person is more than happy for an excuse to take a break) and then shoot the breeze under the guise of “brainstorming together.”
As a Silicon Valley dotcom survivor, I’ve toiled for companies so large that they existed in a “campus” (sounds prettier than the concrete reality), and I could consume a good half-a-day if I wanted to visit one individual on every floor in every building. In fact, because this company, like many large firms, suffered from meeting mania and sign-off overkill, I often DID have to go from building to building, floor to floor, attending endless meetings and/or presenting documents to various managers for the requisite “your signature of approval, please.”
In a start-up, though, which is typically small, you’re in one building. You wear many hats, so that they only person to “brainstorm” with on some issues is “me, myself, and I.” Unless you suffer from multiple personalities, it gets dull.
My solution: seek inspiration in other ways. When I hit a slump/writers block/dead end/need-a-break period on a project, I stop and take a look at my to-do list. It usually contains at least one equally high in priority task. Sometimes just shifting to a new task gives me enough time to feel inspired when I return to the first task. If that doesn’t work, then I take a real break. I walk around the block, do research on a work-related project at the library (remember libraries? they still have valuable information NOT attainable online), or invite a colleague to take a short “walk and talk” meeting with me.
One of my favorite ways is to play “fetch the ball” with Bodhi, the TriActive dog.
What are your ideas for the times when you seek inspiration? Inspire me….